Questions relating to how a Jewish life should be led.

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2
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2answers
39 views

Why are rules of proper behavior not in the written Torah?

Pirkei Avot 1:1: Moshe received the Torah from Sinai... Bartenura on Pirkei Avot 1:1:1: ... the author began with this tractate Moses received the Torah from Sinai, to say to you that the ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Why does the Mishnah in Pirkei Avot 3:2 end in a pasuk without a straight up answer? What is the pasuk trying to teach us?

Why does the Mishnah in Avot 3:2 end by quoting a pasuk (biblical verse) without a straight up answer? What is the pasuk in Eichah (verse from Lamentations) trying to teach us? Pirkei Avot 3:2 ...
3
votes
3answers
462 views

Aside from the Mitzvah “to be fruitful and multiply” why else should a Jewish person want to get married?

What does the Torah say regarding the reasons that one should get married? I am looking for sources such as "ein simcha beli isha" and other philosophical intrinsic reasons for finding a mate.
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Sources for retracting an incorrect statement

Is it brought down anywhere, something to the effect that if one realizes he was incorrect in a matter (can be a Torah-related matter, or a secular matter), he must retract his statement? Preferably, ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Is it ethical for someone who's paid hourly to count an hour long lunch break?

If someone works part time and is paid hourly, is it ok to write down a lunch break as part of his or her hours? Especially in the case that someone is only working 4-5 hours a day total, and not a ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Is there really no problem with paying non-Jewish employees less than Jewish employees?

The Times of Israel has a feature on B&H, the Satmar owned camera store. B&H has been successfully sued several times for discriminating against non-Jewish employees, including for paying ...
5
votes
0answers
38 views

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition?

Is judging others unfavorably a prohibition? If so, what is the source for it? Also, do any of the sages offer any advice for overcoming judging other unfavorably?
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Sefas Emes and your mission

Someone mentioned that the Sefas Emes quotes in the name of the Chiddushei HaRim on that Mishnah (Avos 1:14), אם אין אני לי מי לי, וכשאני לעצמי מה אני, ואם... The Sefas Emes says, Every yid has ...
5
votes
1answer
66 views

What's a musar vaad and why is it called that?

I'm familiar with the term "ועד" (vaad) as meaning something like "congress" or "council" or "board": a legislative or similar body like the Vaad Arba Aratzos, the Vaad Harabonim of Queens, or the ...
7
votes
2answers
58 views

How to not believe slander

I once heard lashon hara (slander) from someone whom I generally admire, about someone towards whom I had less respect. I was naturally tempted to believe the statement, even though it is forbidden to ...
5
votes
1answer
37 views

Comprehensive treatments of the prohibition of bribery

I would like to educate myself about the nature and scope of the Biblical prohibition of "bribery" ("Shochad") and any associated Rabbinic prohibitions, as well as any derived ethical principles. I am ...
1
vote
0answers
44 views

Cheshbon HaNefesh Software

I'm looking for something online or an app, really anything that is on an electronic device, that can help with cheshbon hanefesh. The ideal would be a program or app specifically set up for ...
5
votes
1answer
93 views

How does Jewish Law look upon the concept of Abgefeimt?

Abgefeimt, trying to find a good example, would be like a person who legally engages in something that really sort of underhanded and fraudulent. How does Jewish Law look upon the concept of ...
2
votes
3answers
74 views

Studying mussar and philosophy on tisha b'av

Can one learn mussar on tisha b'av, or how about Kuzari or Moreh Nevuchim? Is it considered to be the study of Torah, which gladdens, or is it, since it is mussar, okay?
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Parameters of Yuhara for women

This question asks about Yuhara - religious haughtiness - in general. In the current answer it discusses issues of one-upmanship on one's Rebbe or local Rabbis being a special concern. How is this ...
4
votes
2answers
64 views

Parameters of “kalus rosh”

What is the definition of kalus rosh? What are the halachos of kalus rosh and where do they apply?
2
votes
0answers
116 views

Crying on Shabbos

Is it permissible to cry on Shabbos? What about if it is tears of joy? What are some halachos that pertain to crying (on Shabbos)? For example, can I tell someone something that may make them cry? ...
7
votes
1answer
149 views

What is the correct emotion to feel upon hearing about enemy civilian casualties?

Recent missiles sent by Hamas landed in Hebron. When my neighbor told me about this, it was unclear whether they had hurt any Arab civilians. I said that I hoped not, while my neighbor basically said ...
2
votes
0answers
101 views

Unethical landlord

Ownership of an apartment building changed hands, and the landlord for the new owner is demanding unusually high additional monthly payments from preexisting tenants for parking privileges that are ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Parameters of Yuhara - When should someone be concerned that he's overdoing it?

There are many cases in halakha where one is discouraged from adopting a stringency because it appears to be an expression of 'religious haughtiness' (יוהרא). When should someone be concerned about ...
3
votes
3answers
119 views

Source for Rambam on Habit and Character

Where does the Rambam say, "Habit and Character are closely interwoven. Habit (as it were) becomes second Nature"?
2
votes
2answers
136 views

Torah source for celebrating your personal achievements

It seems to have become a popular idea that celebrating achievements, even after successfully realizing a small goal, is important to continue developing and staying motivated. I'm looking for a ...
1
vote
3answers
55 views

Path of the Just - what does שיתברר ויתאמת mean?

The Mesilat Yesharim starts off: יסוד החסידות ושרש העבודה התמימה הוא שיתברר ויתאמת אצל האדם מה חובתו (Translation: The foundation of saintliness and the root of perfection in the service of ...
2
votes
1answer
202 views

A client of yours finally pays a bill — seven months late. Should you thank him?

You're a freelancer. A client of yours finally pays a bill — seven months late! — via email money transfer. Should you send him a thank-you email? Or should you simply be silent? And ...
1
vote
2answers
78 views

what induces a person to become more devoted in his religious pursuits?

Looking for some sources as to what induces a person to become more devoted in his service of God. I have read about certain big tzadikim who devoted themselves with extreme mesirut nefesh (efforts) ...
2
votes
1answer
111 views

Seforim of Ramchal

I have heard (and don't remember where) that the seforim of the Ramchal, Mesilas Yesharim, Derech Hashem, and Klash Pischei Chochma are meant to be as steps in a ladder (no pun intended) of learning. ...
1
vote
4answers
204 views

Could a religious man be an anarchist?

Could a religious man be an anarchist? Because by praying you becoming a slave to whatever you pray to. But anarchism (except of some small branches) do not support master-slave relationships. ...
6
votes
2answers
250 views

Examples of Rabbis who had strong disagreements and were amicable

I'm looking for examples of Rabbis who had a serious disagreement and were nevertheless very kind and thoughtful towards each other. The main reason I'm asking for examples is to illustrate what a ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Mesilat Yesharim - how much time per day for zehirut/watchfulness

The Mesilat Yesharim brings down zehirut (watchfulness) as one of the first steps to master. Zehirut in essence means working on cleaning oneself up from all bad behavior through analyzing one's ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Exercises in *yiras shamaim* (awe of the Lord)

I have, it seems, no problem relating to Hashem with ahava - one of my main motivations in avoda is to try to make him benachas (happy), like I would my parents. Relating to yirah is another story. I ...
7
votes
1answer
224 views

Riches found in a purchased item. Return or keep it?

A young rabbi reportedly found nearly $100,000 in a desk he'd purchased second-hand on Craigslist, and subsequently returned the money. Is this story about a Kiddush HaShem, or a Hassid Shoteh ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

How to implement the Mesilas Yesharim

The book Mesilas Yesharim prescribes a ladder of stages to master. Must one master each lower stage before moving on to the next one, or can he work on two or more simultaneously?
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Does the Reishis Chachma apply to our generation?

Is the mussar book Reishis Chachma considered still relevant for our generation? Seems to me it has very high demands of the reader. Please cite your source: any authority who says the book is or is ...
6
votes
1answer
203 views

Exact text from Rav Eliyahu Lopian's “Lev Eliyahu” citing a story about the Chofetz Chaim

I read some time ago in Rav Eliyahu Lopian's "Lev Eliyahu" an amazing idea. However, I don't have the book; I'm looking for it online but cannot find it. He brought a story about the Chofetz Chaim: ...
1
vote
1answer
112 views

Sefaradi Hashkafa of Musar

There are various Hashkafot in regards to Mussar from Rav Yisrael Salanter's Derech to the Hassidic Musar based Sefarim (most Chassidishe Sefarim are Musar). What's an example of Sefaradi Musar ...
7
votes
2answers
85 views

Do you have to judge dead people favorably?

In Avot we learn that one should judge all people favorably ("והוי דן את כל האדם לכף זכות"). I would like to know if that includes the deceased. Meaning, can I look back on the life of a person who is ...
4
votes
3answers
178 views

Is the sefer אור הצפון available?

Does anyone know where to get the sefer ohr hatzfon, containing mussar of the Alter of Slabadka, either online for free or by buying an actual copy?
6
votes
1answer
119 views

Sitting in on classes

Is it stealing, or in any way unethical, to sit in on lectures at university that you aren't enrolled in (therefore aren't paying fees)? A lot of people do this and it's considered normal even for ...
2
votes
2answers
102 views

Corporations and Jewish ethics

Mitt Romney famously remarked that "corporations are people too." I don't buy that, but I've been wondering about what Jewish ethics says about how we should treat them. Specifically, If we speak ...
3
votes
2answers
161 views

Origin of the Escalator analogy

What is the origin of the escalator analogy of always striving for growth? I'm referring to the analogy that, in life, like a person climbing a downward escalator, if one is not constantly striving ...
3
votes
0answers
49 views

What lesson do we learn from Abraham paying money for the Cave of Machpelah?

In Genesis, we see that Abraham makes Ephron accept money for the Cave of Machpelah in order to bury Sarah. He is offered the cave for free, but insists on paying the full price. This sort of story ...
2
votes
0answers
37 views

Why is it the halocho (law) that persuading others to give is greater than giving?

Chazal say, "Gadol hame’aseh yosair min ha’oseh," "the one causing others to give tzedakah is greater than the person giving the tzedakah" (Bava Basra 9a). The Shulchan Oruch YD 249 (5) brings this ...
4
votes
5answers
288 views

Is it written anywhere that one must stand up for what he believes is right?

This may sound like a weird question, but I was wondering if it is written anywhere (Gemarah, Commentators, etc) that one has an obligation to stand up for something he believes is right, continuing ...
3
votes
1answer
387 views

Is it permissible for a single woman to have a baby through artificial insemination by an anonymous sperm donor? Is it moral?

Single women, approaching or past 40, hear their biological clock alarm ringing with tremendous volume. One that I know has decided that her love life is not going to come around soon enough for her ...
5
votes
1answer
114 views

Is it permissible to embarrass a thief?

Here's a story I witnessed: Someone trying to get his car out of the public parking lot next to his building found his way out blocked by two cars parked right on the ramp out, whose owners went into ...
5
votes
2answers
435 views

Chovos Halevavos vs. Mesilas Yesharim

The three basic texts that R' Yisroel Salanter wanted people to learn were Chovos HaLevavos, Mesilas Yesharim and Cheshbon HaNefesh. (source: here) what is the difference between Chovos Halevavos and ...
1
vote
0answers
65 views

Is Sephardi Chief Rabbi Sholomo Amar's recent psak on fiduciary responsibility really “unprecedented”?

HaAretz, last week, reported that Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar issued a halachic decision that "[b]usiness owners whose actions, either intentionally or through negligence, cause the public ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Gentile Biography which Inspires

What is the jewish view on reading biographies of remarkable gentiles which one finds inspirational provided there is no apikorsus in the content. Have come across a website about a certain person ...
3
votes
3answers
307 views

Definition of Baal Nefesh

I have seen "Baal Nefesh" used frequently in various contexts: sometimes as one who is scrupulous in halacha, other times as someone who is a quality person. What is its simple translation/meaning?
24
votes
2answers
379 views

Is unmasking an anonymous author addressed by Halacha?

If an individual writes a document for public consumption anonymously or pseudonymously and either explicitly or presumably desires to remain anonymous, is there a Halachic issue with publicly ...